2014 NHL Draft Prospect: John Lethemon

Matt Christians

The Player

John Lethemon

Goalie

Farmington(MI) High School

2013-2014 stats: 30 games played, 1.99 goals against average, .938 save percentage

Height: 6'2" Weight: 185 lbs.

Final NHL Central Scouting rank: Not ranked

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

Lethemon's biggest asset is excellent balance and poise in the net. He squares up to shooters very well, and has a strong lower body that allows him to move quickly and take away the lower areas of the net, while still saying upright enough to cover the top portions of the net. At 6'2", he's got a projectable frame for an NHL starting goalie.

On the downside, Lethemon has little to no experience outside of the Michigan high school ranks, so he hasn't faced the same quality of shooters as some of the other goalies expected to go in the draft.

How was his draft year? Trending up or down?

Lethemon was pretty much an unknown for much of the year, but put himself on the NHL's radar with an incredible high school season where he was the state of Michigan's top high school goalie. His shining moment came in the Division III state quarterfinals, when he stopped 60 of 62 against heavily-favored Cranbrook-Kingswood(which featured potential draft pick Christopher Brown, who had brought a few NHL scouts to the building that night) to lead his team to a 3-2 victory, despite being outshot 62-15.

Draft projection?

By no means is Lethemon a consensus draft pick, but he may have provided enough intrigue for a team that saw his masterful performance against Cranbrook to take a shot on him in the later rounds. With a generally weak draft, teams might be more interested in swinging for the fences with wildcard-type picks in the later rounds, and Lethemon fits that bill.

Pro upside?

Nobody drafts a goalie with the potential upside of a career back-up. Lethemon is high-risk, even for a goalie, but there's definitely star potential there.

Where will he go next?

Lethemon was selected in the first round of the USHL Draft by the Chicago Steel, and he'll play there next season. He hasn't made a college commitment yet, but likely will very quickly if he gets off to a good start with the Steel. There's a bit of the unknown with Lethemon, so there's always the chance he jumps right into Junior A hockey and is successful, which speeds up his development path, but if need be, he could play two years of juniors and four years of NCAA hockey, giving him six years to mature and develop before a team would have to make a decision on him.

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